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Pennsylvania crops looks good while Maryland, Delaware corn lags

Tobacco looks good on a farm in southern Lancaster County
TOBACCO HARVEST: Tobacco crops grow on a farm in southern Lancaster County, where the harvest is about 30% complete.
The recent wet weather has been timely for New York farmers.

It continues to be wet in many parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, but crops are, for the most part, looking decent as the tail end of the growing season continues.

In Pennsylvania, 68% of corn is in the dough stage while 22% of the crop is dented, according to the USDA Crop Progress Report released earlier this week.

Apples, at 13% harvested, are a little behind the five-year average, while 38% of third-cutting hay has been completed. Forty-four percent of the peach crop has been harvested, behind the five-year average of 67%.

Seventy-four percent of soybeans are in the bloom stage, behind last year’s pace of 90%.

Most of the corn, 74%, is in "good" or "excellent" condition, according to the report. Same goes for apples — 93% good or excellent; and soybeans — 76% good or excellent.

"Peaches continue to be harvested, but they are splitting due to rains we've received this summer. Apples are also being harvested and Penn State is informing the producers to check their apples as they are maturing for different things and will not keep very well with the weather conditions we've been having," says Judy Behney, a crop reporter in Adams County.

"Crops look good in general. Tobacco harvest is about 30% complete. Now is a good time to spray field borders and manage pastures and meadows to prevent weed seed production and infestation into next year’s farming," says Jeff Graybill, a crop reporter in Lancaster County.

LOOKING GOOD: Corn grows on a farm in southern Lancaster County. According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, most of the state’s corn crop is in "good" or "excellent" condition.

Corn and soybeans lagging in Maryland
Across the state line, the corn crop in Maryland is 55% in the dough stage and 11% in the dented stage, both just slightly off the five-year averages.

The condition of the crop is not great with 69% in fair or poor condition.

Forty-one percent of soybeans are setting pods, behind the five-year average of 67%. Seventy-eight percent of the crop is in good or fair condition.

Third-cutting hay is 42% complete, behind the average of 69%. Twenty-two percent of fourth-cutting hay has been completed.

Delaware’s corn is lagging further behind and is in worse shape. Forty-one percent of the crop is in the dough stage while 18% of the crop is dented. A quarter of the crop is in poor condition, while only 26% of the crop is in good condition.

Seventy-five percent of soybeans are blooming while 42% are setting pods, both a little behind their averages.

The good news is that the state’s apples, peaches, lima beans and watermelons are on schedule and looking decent, according to the report.

Dry and wet Empire State
It’s a tale of two summers in New York state. While most of the summer has been abnormally dry, the rains have started to fall in a big way across the state’s Southern Tier and on Long Island.

"We had flash flooding in streams in the Southern Tier. There was mud and water through some corn and hayfields," says crop reporter Maria Heath of Broome County.

A little further north and west, the recent rains were a welcome sight.

"The abnormally dry conditions are over throughout the county," says Dean R. Pendergast, a crop reporter in Livingston County. "Most crops could finish without additional rainfall. Green bean yields have been good, and the beet harvest continues."

Overall, the state’s corn crop is 84% in the silk stage and 22% in the dough stage, both ahead of their five-year averages. Third-cutting hay is on schedule.

Eighty-six percent of soybeans are blooming, well-ahead of last year’s pace of 57%. Fifty-nine percent of soybeans have set pods, also ahead of last year’s pace at this time.

Most of the corn, 77%, is in either good or excellent condition.

Sixty percent of the barley crop has been harvested, ahead of last year’s pace of 54%.

Blueberries and cranberries taking off
The New England Crop Progress Report shows that 54% of Maine’s wild blueberries have been harvested, a big increase from last week’s 21% harvested. The state’s potatoes are starting to be harvested, too.

All cranberries have their fruit set, according to the report.

Hay cuttings across the New England state are, by and large, on schedule.

"Moisture levels have been good for the last three weeks. Potatoes have picked up and are progressing well. Grain crops are being harvested, no reports on yields yet. Rains came too late for the hay crop. People are scrambling to grab any open hay they can get their hands on. We will be short by spring," says Larry James, a crop reporter in Aroostook County, Maine.

"Corn earworm and fall armyworm trap numbers went up at many farms. Hay cutting continued during the week with the second and third cuttings being made. Some spreading manure on hayfields," says crop reporter George Hamilton of Hillsborough County, N.H.

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